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Analysis

2021 energy, resources, and industrials industry outlooks

Annual perspectives on sector trends

Our industry outlook collection, covering oil, gas, and chemicals; power, utilities, and renewables; and industrial products and construction, evaluates sector landscapes to help executives better plan for success and unforeseen challenges.

Finding opportunities amid uncertainty: Unpacking the 2021 trends

The upheaval of 2020 has inevitably shaped the trends and outlook for 2021. Areas that stand out as bellwethers across sectors in 2021 include accelerated reliance on digital technologies; growing concern about exposure to further trade issues; finding new growth markets or applications; and making supply chains more robust, including by “reshoring,” “nearshoring,” or diversifying to new areas and suppliers to create more agility.

The pandemic has helped accelerate reliance on digital technologies across sectors. In oil, gas, and chemical companies, remote monitoring and increased analytics have assisted in opening up new cost-saving avenues in the face of low prices and reduced hiring. For smart manufacturers, digital technologies have helped improve worker safety and have also facilitated ecosystems, which provide measurable benefits to manufacturers. In the power, utilities, and renewables sectors, the move to digital solutions is motivated by the growing role of distributed energy resources on the grid.

The disruption of global supply chains caused by the dual effects of trade tensions and the pandemic has spurred most companies to evaluate changes to their supply chains. Some companies have diversified away from overseas suppliers, replacing them with partners closer to home. In addition, there is a growing concern about reliance on overseas suppliers for critical infrastructure, such as the US electric grid.

Though these common trends have helped shape our outlooks for the coming year, it is important to note the importance of evolving end-market demand in determining company growth strategies. Manufacturers of health and safety equipment have experienced an unexpected growth in business, while others, such as commercial aircraft manufacturers, have felt the brunt of the economic downturn and resultant reduction in travel. Similarly, chemical companies providing cleaning fluids and the inputs for PPE have seen demand grow, while other end markets have slowed dramatically. Furthermore, growth may not return to previous levels until the trajectory of the novel coronavirus is better understood.

We understand your business and can help you plan for success. Read our 2021 energy, resources, and industrials industry outlooks to explore the trends and critical business issues of your sector:

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Look again

In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace environment, key business issues are converging with impacts felt across multiple industry sectors. What are the key trends, challenges, and opportunities that may affect your business and influence your strategy? Look for more perspectives and insights from some of Deloitte’s forward thinkers.

Discover more industry outlooks.

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